The Robinson Helicopter Company in December 2016 reached a total of 12,000 helicopters manufactured since its founding in 1973. According to the manufacturer, the Torrance assembly line in the state of California reached the expressive number by completing the assembly of an R66, Your most sophisticated helicopter.
“It was a cool way to end the year,” said Kurt Robinson, president of Robinson and son of Frank Robinson, founder of the company. Robinson’s number 12,000 helicopter was commissioned by Fly Karoo Air, South Africa’s charter and charter company. The North American manufacturer is currently the largest in the world in the civil helicopter segment.
The R22, produced since 1979, is Robinson’s flagship product, with more than 4,600 units sold. With two-person cabin and low operation and maintenance cost, the model has become one of the most popular in aviation schools. The $ 270,000 Californian’s smallest helicopter is powered by a 124-hp Lycoming four-cylinder engine, which allows the aircraft to reach the top speed of 117 miles per hour.
The second model of the company in capacity is the R44, also with Lycoming piston engine, six cylinders and 245 hp. This helicopter has been produced since 1990, has capacity for four occupants (one or two crew) and has as main functions executive transport, tourist flights and news coverage. The aircraft, capable of flying at 150 miles per hour, costs $ 425,000.
Robinson’s third product, launched in 2007, the R66 (also known as “R66 Turbine”) was the first model of the company with turboshaft engine of Rolls-Royce. It is basically a R44 with a different and more powerful engine (270 hp), which significantly increases the performance in flight: it has a maximum speed of 160 miles per hour and greater autonomy (325 nautical miles compared to 290 nautical miles of R44). Its price is $ 869,000.